Home' Community Care Review : CCR Nov 2016 Contents REBECCA’S STORY
first met Masuko and her daughter
Linda at the end of 2015. Her daughter
was concerned Masuko was not having
enough social interaction with people
her own age. I sat with both of them and
explained my role and the programs
Churches of Christ Care provide. Masuko
was under the impression I was a
They decided for Masuko to attend
ladies day once a week. This appealed as
it involved socialising with a small group
of ladies and going out for the day on the
bus. As time went on and rapport was
developed, she also started attending
weekend cottage respite. Masuko has
adjusted well into our respite programs and
the ladies in her social group have made
her feel very welcome. Having the same care
workers has helped immensely.
Recently, Masuko and Linda attended
our Keepsakes Café, a forum to promote
dementia awareness, and allow informal
carers to liaise with others to get advice and
information on services.
Masuko is quietly reserved, caring and
respectful of others. She enjoys listening
to conversations more so than speaking.
Masuko takes pride in her appearance and
her outfits match perfectly.
She really enjoys magazines, so when she
stays at the cottage I ensure they are on the
table. Another client noticed this too and
has been bringing them in for her to read.
Masuko also likes roses so we go walking
through the Botanic Gardens to smell and
talk about how pretty they are. One care
worker started learning Japanese to be able
to communicate with Masuko better.
We would like to introduce Masuko’s
culture to the rest of the group and are
planning an outing to eat sushi, which is one
of her favourite foods. What I have enjoyed
most about getting to know Masuko is
learning about her life, understanding her
cultural ways of being and how she identifies
with others and the world around her.
I was born in Manchuria, China in 1932.
I am Japanese and both my father and
mother were Japanese. My mother passed
away when I was six months old. My father
owned a very profitable glass business and
he had over 200 Chinese workers. I lived a
good life with my father, step-mother, sister
and cousins. I was a talented and devoted
dancer and won many trophies, which led
me to becoming a dance teacher. I was also
a long distance runner. But then everything
changed for us. My father was captured by
Chinese communists and taken prisoner.
They took everything except the clothes on
our backs and gave us 1,000 yen to go back
to Japan. We were sent away in a coal train
and then an old boat to Hiroshima where my
father had to make a new home for us.
In the late 1940s to 50s, I worked in a
canteen and helped in the hospital in a town
called Kure. The Australian soldiers of the
occupational forces were based here during
the end of the Korean War. They were aiding
in the clean-up from the aftermath of the
atomic bombing of Hiroshima. This is where
my late husband Alec and I met and fell in
love. We were married in 1954.
It was so hard to leave my parents, sister
and relatives but I really wanted to go with
Alec to meet his family and start my own life in
a new country. It sounded so promising. When
the boat finally arrived in Sydney Harbour I
was so full of butterflies I could hardly stand.
Alec and I had four children, three boys
and one girl and we lived in Wollongong,
NSW. Alec passed away in 1975. I miss him
very much. I live with my daughter Linda
and her husband Rob and my two gorgeous
grandchildren Bennett and Alanah.
I am now 84. Sometimes I don’t feel it.
Some days I feel anxious about being old
but it goes away. I am having problems
remembering some things, but I am happy.
Linda found Churches of Christ Care while
talking with other care facilities. She wanted
me to spend some time with other ladies my
age, so we can share our stories and be active.
I enjoy going to ladies day on Wednesdays
where I meet up with the lovely ladies with
whom I have found a nice friendship. I first
met Rebecca when she came to our house
to talk with me and Linda. We found her very
warm and friendly. It’s nice to see her every
week. All the staff are wonderful to me. I enjoy
their company and they’re always very helpful
and always watching over me. n
Rebecca McIntosh says
Bunney’s life story and
interests has helped
deliver support that
meets her needs.
Masuko Bunney and Rebecca McIntosh.
38 | NOVEMBER 2016
It’s all about relationships
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